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Modification of alternating aliphatic polyketones in a microreactor

Beek, A.P. (2017) Modification of alternating aliphatic polyketones in a microreactor. Master's Thesis / Essay, Industrial Engineering and Management.

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Abstract

Microreactors are an emerging reactor type in the field of chemistry and chemical engineering as it allows for continuous processing and possesses several benefits, such as good mixing by diffusion, due to its small size. In this thesis the usage and benefits of microreactors for the modification of polyketone with furfurylamine is investigated. Via the Paal-Knorr reaction, a pyrrole ring with a pending furan group is formed in the backbone of the polymer. This is an interesting modification, since modified polyketone is used as a starting material in many recent researches, such as the development of a thermally reversible thermoset. Polyketone, dissolved in THF, was left to react with furfurylamine in microreactor under various reaction conditions. Experiments were also performed under the same conditions in batch reactor for comparison. Residence or reaction time, operating temperature, mixing and the stoichiometric ratio of polyketone to furfurylamine were altered. Besides the results are also compared to the conventional batch method now used for polyketone modification. It was found that microreactor processing using a small diameter of 0.3 mm and a polyketone to furfurylamine ratio of 1:3 can outperform a batch reactor at an equal temperature of 50 oC for polyketone modification in short residence times. This might be caused by a short diffusion path and the positioning of the interface in the middle of the capillary tube at equal flow rates. The results imply a potential for microreactors as a conversion of 66% has been achieved after 10 minutes at these conditions, wherefore via the conventional method 71% was reached only after 4 hours and at high temperature. Besides these chemical and processing advantages, microreactors are also low in capital expenses and easy to scale-up by numbering-up, leading to a shorter time to market. Moreover, at large scale mixing quality in batch reactor will be significantly decreased, favoring microreactor processing even more. Also, continuous production is preferred by the chemical industry as it provides a constant product quality and is more naturally integrated in the downstream production process. All of this assumes that microreactors might be an attractive type of reactor for the modification of polyketone. This work provides the first insights in the usage of microreactors for polyketone modification with amines. Further research, acceleration of polyketone product development and commercialization of these will aid to the success of modifying polyketone in microreactors.

Item Type: Thesis (Master's Thesis / Essay)
Degree programme: Industrial Engineering and Management
Thesis type: Master's Thesis / Essay
Language: English
Date Deposited: 15 Feb 2018 08:32
Last Modified: 04 Jun 2018 12:09
URI: http://fse.studenttheses.ub.rug.nl/id/eprint/15859

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